Prep Basketball

Iowa City High girls' basketball jumps back into the fray with a win at Linn-Mar

After 20 days with no games, Little Hawks prevail, 55-47

MARION — This was a no-frills sabbatical.

“I just did things at home,” Kelsey Joens said. “Some lifting, jumped rope, some ball-handling drills.”

Eviyon Richardson said, “I got my own cardio in. I tried to jump rope as much as I could.”

Class 5A 12th-ranked Iowa City High returned from its third prolonged break of the season, and in some ways, the Little Hawks didn’t look like they’d been away at all. They committed just three turnovers and fought off Linn-Mar, 55-47, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Friday night at Linn-Mar High School.

“I really didn’t know what to expect tonight,” City Coach Bill McTaggart said. “One of my assistants said that it was going to be close in the first half, then we’d pull away.

“That was pretty accurate.”

Holding a tenuous 39-35 lead with less than six minutes to go, the Little Hawks (8-4 overall, 6-2 MVC) broke it open with a 12-5 surge.

Joens and Richardson did most of the heavy lifting, combining for 45 points and 20 rebounds (26 and eight for Joens, 19 and 12 for Richardson).

“We took care of the ball,” Richardson said. “We didn’t force or rush things. It wasn’t one pass and shoot.”

City High has been through a start-and-stop season since the practice began. The Little Hawks didn’t play their first game until Dec. 18, played three games before holiday break, played eight more, then went back on hiatus after their Jan. 23 contest at West Des Moines Valley.

“I’m glad to be back,” Joens said. “We just need to work on getting back in shape.”

Conditioning is key, especially considering McTaggart played only six kids Friday.

Linn-Mar (9-8, 7-7) battled throughout, putting itself in good position until City got away in the final stretch.

“There’s no quit in these kids,” Lions Coach Chad Tompkins said. “That’s one of the best things about coaching this team; they’ll play hard for 32 minutes.”

Hallie Peak and Zoe Kennedy scored 11 points apiece for the Lions, and Kennedy snared 12 rebounds.

IOWA CITY HIGH 55, LINN-MAR 47

At Linn-Mar

IOWA CITY HIGH (55): Georgia Kimm 1-5 0-0 2, Kelsey Joens 9-20 5-6 26, Eviyon Richardson 9-14 0-1 19, Andie Westlake 0-2 0-0 0, Ella Cook 4-15 0-0 8, Kacie Earl 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 5-7 55.

LINN-MAR (47): Maddy Kolek 0-0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Brunson 2-12 2-2 7, Abby Thoms 1-3 2-2 4, Mia Frese 0-0 0-0 0, Jada Healey 0-1 0-0 0, Keegan Krejca 4-9 1-2 9, Emma Casebolt 1-4 0-0 2, Hallie Peak 4-9 0-2 11, Zoe Kennedy 4-14 2-3 11, Caelynn Obleton 1-2 0-0 3, Taylor Brunson 0-0 0-0 0, Sofia Bush 0-0 0-0 0, Marissa Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 7-11 47.

Halftime: City 26, Linn-Mar 20. 3-point goals: City 4-19 (Kimm 0-3, Joens 3-8, Richardson 1-4, Westlake 0-1, Cook 0-3), Linn-Mar 6-22 (K. Brunson 1-5, Casebolt 0-3, Peak 3-7, Kennedy 1-5, Obleton 1-2). Team fouls: City 14, Linn-Mar 9. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: City 37 (Richardson 12), Linn-Mar 38 (Kennedy 12). Assists: City 11 (Joens, Richardson 3), Linn-Mar 11 (K. Brunson 5). Steals: City 6 (Joens, Richardson, Cook 2), Linn-Mar 1 (Kennedy). Turnovers: City 3, Linn-Mar 9.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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